Adrian Sutil completed 117 laps – more than any other driver – on the final day of the Valencia test for Force India.
It was the first time that Sutil had driven the VJM03 – the 2010 car – since the Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi last November, and today focussed mainly on collecting further data on the performance of the new compounds.
The German was the second quickest driver of the day with only the Lotus Renault of Robert Kubica setting a faster lap.
“It felt good to be in the car again after a few months away!” remarked Sutil. “Everything went pretty smoothly, as we expected with the VJM03, so we could complete the work we wanted to do. Paul and Nico had collected a lot of data on the tyres in the previous two days, so my aim today was to continue this work on alternative set-ups and fuel loads.
“We got all the information we needed and I feel like we understand the tyre performance pretty well now. Having got back into the car again I now can’t wait to get my first taste of the VJM04 next week in Jerez.”
Circuit engineer director Dominic Harlow explained how the team had approached day three in Valencia. “During the final day’s testing in Valencia Adrian got a chance to compare the different tyres, but also looked at some set-up alternatives, brake material and the range of weight distribution available to us,” he said.
“It was another productive day, and now we shift our focus to the VJM04 for the roll out next week, which everyone in the team is tremendously looking forward to. The lap times today are interesting when you consider the technical differences between 2011 and 2010 cars like the VJM03, and relative levels of downforce, but of course we must be careful not to read too much into them.”
The team now head to Jerez for the second pre-season test, where they will run the VJM04 for the first time. This four-day test begins on Thursday 10th February.